Why the West must pursue diplomacy with Russia

Deep differences over Ukraine need not preclude conducting mutually useful business but it calls for sophisticated and disciplined diplomacy.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressing a press conference at an informal meeting of Nato foreign ministers on Ukraine in Berlin on May 15, 2022. PHOTO: AFP
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Amid more than two months of intense media focus on the war in Ukraine, one story was largely overlooked. In late April, the United States and Russia carried out an exchange of prisoners. Russia released an American (a former Marine) whom it detained some three years ago, while the US released a Russian pilot imprisoned over a decade ago on drug smuggling charges.

What makes the exchange noteworthy is that it took place at a time when Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine has brought relations with the US to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.

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